Korean J Clin Pharm.  2020 Dec;30(4):270-278. 10.24304/kjcp.2020.30.4.270.

Clinical and Laboratory Features of Pediatric Patients with COVID-19: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Affiliations
  • 1College of Pharmacy and Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Republic of Korea
  • 2College of Pharmacy, Gyeongsang National University, Gyeongnam 52828, Republic of Korea
  • 3Mokhwa Convalescent Hospital, Gyeongnam 52828, Republic of Korea
  • 4College of Pharmacy, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28160, Republic of Korea

Abstract

Background
Although the identification of clinical and laboratory features in pediatric COVID-19 patients is essential in establishing an appropriate treatment plan, a systematic review and meta-analysis on the topic has yet to be reported.
Methods
We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science to access clinical and laboratory characteristics as well as clinical outcomes of children with COVID-19 infection. A meta-analysis using random-effect model was performed to estimate pooled prevalence and 95% confidence intervals.
Results
Among the 532 studies initially collected, 12 articles were finally included in the meta-analysis. Among the investigated 320 pediatric patients with COVID-19, fever (48.2%) and cough (39.3%) were the most common symptoms.Almost one third of patients (30.4%) were asymptomatic. In laboratory findings, only 11.4% of pediatric patients experienced lymphocytopenia. Increased inflammatory markers including c-reactive protein (18.6%) and procalcitonin (32.4%) were observed.Only a few patients needed mechanical ventilation and intensive care support, and only one death was reported.
Conclusion
Pediatric patients with COVID-19 infection exhibited milder symptoms and more favorable outcomes compared to adults. However, considering the high rate of asymptomatic pediatric patients, close monitoring is required to prevent community infection in asymptomatic conditions and hidden disease progression.

Keyword

Children; COVID-19; Clinical and laboratory features; Systematic review; Meta-analysis
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